Nine U.S. passenger carriers collectively reported profit of $9.2 billion for the first half of 2017, down from $12 billion in the same period in 2016, the trade group Airlines For America reported. The combined profit figure includes data from Alaska Airlines, Allegiant Air, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines and United Airlines.
Airlines For America said the decline in profitability was attributable to expenses surging 9.1 percent, outpacing 4.2 percent growth in revenues. Higher fuel, labor and maintenance costs were particularly impactful.
Domestic seat supply is at its highest level since 2005, and international seat supply is at an all-time high, the group said.
For the first half, airlines completed 98.55 percent of domestic flights and posted an on-time arrival rate of 78.66 percent.
For the upcoming Labor Day holiday, Airlines for America projected 16.1 million passengers will fly worldwide in scheduled service on U.S. airlines over the Labor Day travel period, up 5 percent (110,000 passengers per day) from the 15.4 million passengers estimated to have flown during this period last year. Accordingly, airlines are adding 133,000 seats per day across their networks to accommodate the expected increase in demand.